New Anti-War Coalition in California

by Marc Rome / Jan. 2006 issue of Socialist Action Newspaper

As moods deepen against the war in Iraq, a new Northern California antiwar coalition has organized several successful meetings to give the most far-reaching expression to the growing antiwar sentiment among U.S. troops and the majority antiwar sentiment in the United States.

The “Stop the War Now Coalition“ has a steering committee that includes individuals representing 107 local and regional organizations and leading activists.
Stop the War activists come from many organizations that support human rights, peace and justice, the labor movement, and civil liberties. They include groups that back the causes of Arab-American, Muslim, Latino, and Black rights, Military Families Against the War, Gold Star Mothers, and Iraq Veterans Against War.

The coalition’s adopted Statement of Purpose focuses on the demand, “End the War in Iraq and Bring the Troops Home Now!” Additional demands call for ending the “war at home” and express opposition to “U.S. wars and occupations from Palestine to Haiti, from Iran to Cuba, from Afghanistan to Venezuela.”

At a Feb. 25 meeting, a body of almost 100 groups and leading activists voted to endorse all national antiwar protests on March 15-22 as well as several Northern California regional actions organized by peace and justice groups that work with the coalition.
The coalition’s first major event will be an antiwar conference on May 13, tentatively at Oakland’s Laney College.

Some 50 workshops are in preparation as well as entertainment, prominent speakers, a mass rally, and a plenary session where decisions about the future of the coalition and proposals for future activities would be democratically (one person, one vote) discussed and decided. Proposals would include a mass mobilization against the war in the fall. One thousand are expected to attend the May 13 conference.

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